t: +353 1 222 5550
t: +353 1 222 5550
Stories around borders
The curatorial idea for the exhibition Worlds Without End was first conceived a year ago as a research-based collaboration between Hugh Lane Gallery and the Rubin Foundation. Sara Reisman (Executive and Artistic Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation) and Michael Dempsey are the co-curators for this project. The Hugh Lane’s curatorial team had been working on the research and production of the exhibition for months and it was due to open to the public from 30th April 2020.
What seems like a different world then, our concerns were around the rising populist push towards border fortification in Trumps America and the uncertainty of how the EU would look post brexit. We could not have guessed the exhibition and events programme series, scheduled for summer 2020, would be dealing with topics that have become imminently close and pressing as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. We find ourselves again in uncertainty…."Worlds Without End" has suddenly become an everyday reality, a forced way of life in the global world and this exhibition of international perspective will help us understand just how connected we are as one human family. Our initial conversations were concerned with how Europe would look post Brexit but now it’s a much wider question for how will the world look after we emerge from the coronavirus.
Hugh Lane Gallery is closed for now but our work continues behind the scenes as well as providing active content online. Watch out for further details about the background of the exhibition, the artists involved in the project, exclusive interviews and online programs. Worlds Without End – an international group exhibition, is a rich and diverse series of visual stories centered on the concept of borders. In 2016, there was a total of sixty three fortified borders, walls and fences between sovereign nations. Today due to the pandemic that number has increased significantly and the question that is troubling many is will this increase be made permanent – are we looking at the end of the EU project and the demise of the US as leader of democracy? Historically, borders tend to be the location of international trouble spots. Prior to the global lockdown we saw a utopian vision of open borders, but we also witnessed a rise in the populist push towards border fortification. This has now been eclipsed by a pandemic that doesn’t respect borders. Politicisation of the pandemic, displacement of people, contagion as well as the drive towards an ever-increasing economic globalisation have created complex contradictions.
“As capital and commodities continue to flow and bodies remain policed and controlled, new frontiers and thresholds lie ahead. Are these borders the borders we want, the borders we need? Certainly not. What we need is for the borders of tomorrow to be different than those of today.” – Nick Axel, Jan Boelen, Charlotte Dumoncel d’Argence, and Nikolaus Hirsch, Editorial, 'At the border' (2020).
Another consideration is the creation of psychological frontiers known as borderisation – the mindset that borders create which further exacerbates the strain on cultural and social conditions. The borderisation question has since become a mindset of fear and anxiety of the unknown as we begin to navigate our way into this new era.
“Piecemeal national responses will not be enough for the world to recover from this global shock” - Michael Dempsey
“Worlds Without End encompasses the perpetuity of time - reflecting on the rise and fall of empires in looking at how borders are erected and demolished in the rhythmic flow of human revolution.” – Barbara Dawson
Worlds Without End features artworks by international artists Lieven De Boeck (Belgium); Tania Bruguera (Cuba); Elaine Byrne (Ireland); John Byrne (Ireland); Tony Cokes (US); Chto Delat (Russia); Dor Guez (Israel/Palestine); Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Jordan); Dragana Jurišić (Croatia); Ari Marcopolous (Netherlands); Raqs Media Collective (India); Dermot Seymour (Ireland) and Mark Wallinger (UK), many of whom are exhibiting in Ireland for the first time. These artists bring together their individual experiences of international borders.
Worlds Without End is curated by Michael Dempsey, Hugh Lane Gallery’s Head of Exhibitions and Sara Reisman, Executive and Artistic Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, New York. The exhibition is conceived as a research-based collaboration between the two organizations, drawing on Hugh Lane Gallery’s prominent role in Dublin’s civic and cultural life, and the Rubin Foundation’s engagement with art and social justice programming in New York City.
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